Belgian designer Olivier Debie has ended his legal action against the IOC over the similar logos ©Tokyo 2020/Liege Theatre

Belgian designer Olivier Debie has abandoned his plagiarism lawsuit against the International Olympic Committee (IOC) over the initial Tokyo 2020 Emblem choice, he has revealed.

The graphic designer began a lawsuit in August after claiming that the initial logo, designed by Kenjiro Sano, was overly similar to one he created for the Théâtre de Liège in Belgium.

He launched his case in conjunction with the Theatre, the copyright holder of the logo, demanding €50,000 (£36,000/$56,000) to be paid by the IOC and other organisations each time the emblem is used.

Japanese organisers eventually scrapped the logo following the allegations and are currently in the final stage of a process to select a replacement.

Debie continued his case despite the Théâtre dropping theirs in September and told insidethegames earlier this month that he was hoping to come to an arrangement with the IOC.

He added that an agreement had been proposed between the IOC and Debie's lawyer in which he also had to sign an embargo about the case, but that the offer was refused.

Scrapping the initial logo was embarrassing for both Tokyo 2020 and the IOC ©Getty Images
Scrapping the initial logo was embarrassing for both Tokyo 2020 and the IOC ©Getty Images

"They are very hard in business," he added.

He has now opted to drop his claim even though a defence hearing had been scheduled for Tuesday (February 2).

“After consideration, I prefer to withdraw my complaint,” Debie told Kyodo News.

“Even if I were to win, the legal costs would be so high that I couldn’t recoup my expenses.

“I have other projects."

Debie's decision will come as a relief to the IOC and Tokyo 2020, who have now whittled down the potential replacements to a list of four candidates.

A winner will be selected in March, it is hoped.